“When we all get to heaven…”
Many Christians regard this as the “ultimate” of the Christian life. This is important, but Jesus revealed a far greater and more dramatic destiny for the Christian: His Second Coming. It is the day, not when we leave earth for heaven, but when heaven comes to earth.
The Second Coming of Jesus Christ is our “Blessed Hope.” Next to the redemption story itself, the Second Coming is the most mentioned teaching of the Bible. The Second Coming of Jesus Christ completes the salvation story.
In His first coming, Jesus came as the babe in the manger, the man of sorrows, the suffering servant on the cross. In His Second Coming, Jesus Christ will come as the glorified and conquering warrior, King of kings and Lord of lords. When John, the beloved disciple, saw Jesus in all His glory, he was so overcome at the contrast from his Master’s earthly appearance, he fell down at His feet as if dead (Revelation 1:12-16).
Jesus Christ will come again in person, not just as some nebulous “spiritual influence.” All those who love Him, both alive and dead, will accompany Him, not as ghosts, but with glorified bodies like His body. The whole world will see Him (Revelation 1:7) and all who have followed Him through the ages.
Some people will not be ready for this unprecedented moment. For them, it will be a time of terror because on that day, the day of salvation will have come and gone. Because they ignored the saving work of Christ on the cross and His resurrection, they must now stand before Him all alone. It is a terrible thing to stand alone before our Maker in our sin, never having trusted the One who gave His life to remove its power.
If we are His children, we have nothing to fear and everything to gain from His Second Coming because it will manifest our destiny and display the faithfulness of God. It will manifest His wisdom, grace and love, greater than the universe. Only those who have steadfastly refused God’s grace and prefer the corrupt status quo over His restoration have any reason to fear.
At His Second Coming, Jesus will return to earth to fully restore Israel, His chosen people. He will return to judge all those who have opposed the rule of God on earth. He will return to bring peace and freedom to a troubled and corrupt earth. He will return to restore every person to his/her full potential. The fallen earth, like a desert, will become like a garden of endless beauty and fertility. He will remove the curse of death. He will make right all wrongs, and make all things new.
His Second Coming will vindicate and glorify Him and each of us who have trusted in Him for what we could not yet see. Every knee will bow and every mouth will confess that He is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Even the great enemy, Satan himself, will have to acknowledge his defeat and declare Jesus Christ as Lord.
Every child of God should look forward to this day because it will bring the end to all of Satan’s torments. Without Satan to tempt, destroy and deceive, the world will experience a renewal such as we have never seen before and cannot possibly imagine now.
How do we live in the light of this “Blessed Hope?” We eagerly wait for Him, by learning to live holy lives, learning to use the gifts He has given us, learning to interest ourselves in the things that interest Him. Sometimes our gifts seem small and puny, but when we become faithful in the little things, He will make us rulers over many things (see Luke 19:11-26).
We yearn for His coming by investing our time, talents and money in preparation for this coming day. This means we do our part to fulfill the Great Commission, for we must complete that great task before He returns. There are still many places in India and elsewhere that have yet to hear the Good News. Every dedicated prayer warrior, evangelist and financial investment in the Great Commission brings us that much closer to that glorious day.
Of course, Satan does not want this to happen. He fears the completion of the Great Commission because that will bring his domination of the world to an end. He will do all he can to delay the inevitable through trickery, lies and diversions of Jesus’ followers to discourage us and make us lose our focus.
May we not let Satan divert us with lesser things! May we keep our eyes on the prize!
Too few believers spend time in preaching, teaching and learning about our “Blessed Hope.” This loss of perspective robs us of hope and purpose. It is a trick of the enemy to make us forget our rightful inheritance and sure destiny in Christ. Let us deny him this attempt to usurp what our Lord has guaranteed to us!
Let us pray the Holy Spirit will revive His people to a new urgency to complete the task He has given us and hasten the wonderful day of Jesus’ return.
To realize our “Blessed Hope” means learning to trust Him more, to work and pray in His power in new ways. He will help us in our weakness. Let it be! Come quickly, Lord Jesus!
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Father God, in these days of turmoil and trouble, help me to keep my eyes on the prize-the Second Coming of your Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Help me to know you more fully and to invest the talents you have given me to your glory and the advancement of your kingdom in this world, especially in those places where the gospel is still unknown. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.